Monday, 20 July 2009


When a gullible priest, the suitably-named Ángel, unscrambles a code that claims the Apocalypse will come at Christmas time, he rushes around Madrid attempting to commit every sin he can to appease the dark lord. Calling upon an obtuse metalhead shopkeeper and a schlocky TV clairvoyant, Ángel determines to accrue all the necessary ingredients for an invocation. Wafers are replaced with circles of white bread, and L.S.D. replaces mushrooms. Sadly, a series of interruptions distract the real revelations, and soon Ángel and his crazy cohorts are finding themselves in an even more ludicrous situation than they’d bargained for.

As should be the case with such a film, Ángel makes a charmingly hopeless lead character, one whose blunt naïveté is often his undoing. Whenever he tries to explain the cryptic motive behind his criminal activity, he sounds as ridiculous as he ought to, but throughout the film, it’s impossible not to take his side and will him to an otherworldly conclusion. The questionable validity of his religious beliefs notwithstanding, he is certainly the most sound and dynamic character.

The effortless blend of comedy and horror brings to mind Peter Jackson’s early films Bad Taste and Braindead, but the film has the added benefit of stuntmen and (marginally) better effects. For the first half, the entire event feels grimly predictable, but by the time the trio are scaling a gigantic neon sign, the metalhead high as a kite, the film has gone through enough twists and turns to keep viewers sufficiently amused.

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